You are a mother of a high school student, and you are freaking out about the empty nest ahead? Together we will channel your freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy! You will THRIVE as your child(ren) prepares, heads off to, and experiences college. ~ Christine, Your Empty Nest Coach
This episode has taken more energy than most others!
It took me weeks to gather my thoughts and then a few more additional weeks to put them together and even assemble it. The result is a fable I created for us! It is my gift to you. Let me know if it resonates with you. In today’s episode, I introduce you to Greenlee the green popsicle stick.
⇓⇓⇓ More goodies below, too! Scroll all the way down ⇓ so you don’t miss anything! ⇓⇓⇓
Want to subscribe to this podcast? Great news – it is free!
Where are you in green popsicle stick journey? Do you have your GPS?
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, episode, #17: Green Popsicle Stick. … Thanks for listening, today. I’m so proud of you for making time for yourself! I am about to share a fable with you that I created.
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast, episode, #17: Green Popsicle Stick.
Hello, my empty nest friend!
Thanks for listening, today. I’m so proud of you for making time for yourself!
I am about to share a fable with you that I created.
I would like to introduce you to Green Popsicle Stick, we’ll call her Greenlee for short.
She feels the weight of the world on her shoulders.
Why wouldn’t she? She knows that she is the piece that holds other popsicle structures together in many ways. She fully supports them. She is the KEY piece.
Her position in all of this, she feels profoundly.
Honestly, it is ALL she knows.
Each structure that she supports has a primary point stick, similar to a point person. Some point sticks communicate well with Greenlee – and others…well, not so much.
Greenlee is the ONLY green popsicle stick in her supported structure group.
All of the other popsicle sticks, and their point sticks, don’t seem to understand who Greenlee is outside of her duties of supporting the rest of them.
They all simply know she’s there. ALL. THE. TIME.
Let’s be honest, most days, Greenlee doesn’t even know who she is.
Hmmm… did she ever really know?
She’s been so busy filling the needs of all the other sticks and their structures that she doesn’t have time for herself.
Greenlee would think: How could there be anything else? What could be more important than what she does now?
She knows that as long as she stays where she is (safe and secure), that she won’t be disappointed.
She won’t be disappointed by the reactions of others to a change she might make. and, most importantly, she won’t be disappointed in who she is when she isn’t in her comfort zone.
So, up until this moment, she has done what she’s always done. She changes nothing because, after all, everything around her may crumble if she were to attempt to discover a new role for herself.
But then it happened. One day that was as normal as any other day, she noticed a bit of green off in the distance.
Greenlee’s interest was piqued.
Could it be? Could that be another green popsicle stick?
Seeing that flash of green gave Greenlee the ability to dream about what it might be like to do something for herself.
But she CAN’T move because she MUST stay in place for her supported structures.
She quickly reminded herself of her important role where she was and that thinking of anything otherwise was impractical and well, nonsense.
Nonsense. That’s what any other thoughts were. … Yes….. Nonsense.
Time continued to pass. From her stationary position, she noticed a few green popsicle sticks gathered together. ALL without their structures.
Greenlee was shocked. … So many of them left their structures? How COULD they?
As she internalized thoughts about how much more protective she must be of HER structures – she noticed that one of the green popsicle sticks in the group appeared to be upset. A tear fell from her own eye when the other popsicle sticks leaned in to comfort and support the sad one.
On yet another occasion, one group member looked to be telling a story while bouncing up and down with what could only be excitement. As the excited one bounced, the others began to bounce happily with her.
Greenlee continued to observe gatherings of the green popsicle sticks that included a variety of energies: calmness; thoughtfulness; kindness; sadness; and, yes, even some arguments.
“How could this be?” she wondered.
Greenlee thought she might know the answer: Well, their structures must be stronger than mine OR their structures must be crumbling OR those other green popsicle sticks don’t care about their structures as much as I care about mine.
Yeah, THAT’s it. That is why I am here all alone while they gather together.
While Greenlee wasn’t 100% sure she loved her role in life, it was all she knew. And it was comfortable. There is a lot to be said for comfort.
After all, she couldn’t be anything like those other green popsicle sticks. Could she?
It took witnessing oh so many gatherings of the green popsicle sticks chatting, catching up and supporting each other for Greenlee to gather up the courage to do a tiny little wiggle one day.
She wiggled from left to right. Ever – so – slightly.
Her supported structures didn’t notice at all. Not a bit.
Why would they? Any slight movement they have had in the past has been handled by Greenlee, after all.
Her supported structures’ inability to notice her wiggle, allowed Greenlee to grow in her bravery.
While her supported structures definitely noticed the new sway that was happening … they found a bit of enjoyment with the new ride and some freedom that they gained for themselves.
Well, a few wiggles and a sway was enough for one day.
Greenlee oozed of exhilaration and nervousness. She decided to try again the next day.
Days of sways delivered Greenlee some enjoyment but it wasn’t until the momentum of one of her sways caused her to slip from her position that things got interesting.
Much to her surprise – nothing crumbled.
Oh, YES, things moved. And, yes, that was horrifying, initially.
There were complaints from some of her supported structures: they couldn’t figure out why Greenlee was changing things.
And yet other supported structures slid right into a new position and enjoyed the view.
Greenlee was fascinated. As she took stock of the slip aftermath, she found that each supported structure slid together to form a design that was different. Not Good. Not Bad. Just Different.
She didn’t have to stay where she was stationed for the other structures to be who they are meant to be?
Wait, does this mean that they don’t need her at all?
Now that thought STUNG.
As time passed, Greenlee decided that she had to explore life outside of her supported structure fixed location. She wanted to experience a green popsicle stick gathering.
She wanted to ask them questions.
Greenlee ramped up her sways to the point where she could slip entirely out of position again. Now that she was looking for the opportunity, she found that when the time came, she slid COMPLETELY out – and found herself – EXPOSED!
She flipped over so she couldn’t see the damage she had done by walking away.
She couldn’t look.
She heard murmurs for sure – and one LOUD complaint.
As she turned to steal a quick peek, she saw that her supported structures were all still standing and they were supporting EACH OTHER!
She took it in.
With increasing intensity, she became aware of her own occupation of space outside of her supported structures.
Who she was without them – she wasn’t sure – actually, she had no idea. She wanted to run right back to her comfortable spot to hide who she really is. She COULDN’T be this version of herself – whatever it was – she didn’t know it well and she wasn’t sure she wanted to go any further.
But before she could jump back in, she glanced back to where she had seen the green popsicle stick gathering and much to her surprise they were running toward her.
Big smiles. Faces of concern. Upon their arrival, they held and comforted her. She leaned on a few as she cried – she cried a lot. The emotion was raw and real.They picked her up and gently pulled her in among them.
It was there that she discovered that all of them had their own similar journey to get where they are. Some were forced out, some inched their way out and others just took the leap and ran.
Greenlee had three questions for the group. She first asked: 1) Why didn’t you come to me earlier? She was told she had to take the first step. They’ve been waiting for her all along. While she was watching them, it turned out that they were watching HER as she made her journey and couldn’t wait for her new freedom – that is why they came running to her – they were waiting – for her. And they were excited to have her there.
2) Her second question was: Why are you all brighter than I am? It was something she didn’t even realize until now. They explained that it was due to them spending more time figuring out who they are outside of their structures. It happens to all of us, they said, and you’ll be as bright as us, in time!
3) Third Question: What do I do now? Greenlee was told that THAT was all up to her but the first thing to do is to take a deep breath – enjoy the time with her new friends and then go back to her supported structures and let them know about her new journey – that she is interested in learning who she is meant to be, so that she can be the best version of herself (her brightest version) this will allow her to be the best support she can be for them, too!
She was scared. Her new friends shared that they understood, as they have all been there. Most of them had supported structures that were excited about their journey ahead but a few had supported structures that balked and said, “Nope, I just want things to stay the same.”
Each of them had to decide what was more important to them – finding themselves or staying where they were. That is a decision each green popsicle stick has to make, she was told. No one will make it for her.
They also shared that all of the green popsicle sticks have found that as they have become closer to who they are meant to be, that not only did their color get brighter but that they began to build their own structure around themselves – that made them stronger. Sometimes it worked well, and sometimes the structure would fall but they always could rebuild and figure out a new design. They also shared that their supported structures did a similar thing. They updated their design and became clearly who they were meant to be.
Greenlee then noticed writing on some of the other green popsicle sticks which led her to one more question that day, “Why do some of you have writing on you?”
The brightest green popsicle stick with the boldest writing said, “Those of us who have found our purpose, it is clearly written on us. It shows up when we have found it. For some of us it never changes, for others it changes over time. When we have a purpose, we feel it in everything we do.”
THIS is what Greenlee wanted: a purpose. As she headed back to her supported structures, she knew she would find it.
My friend, you are a green popsicle stick. That is the REAL you.
When you allow yourself to be alone outside of your many roles, and take the time to discover who you are – to get to know who you are – you will find direction in your life through your own GPS – yes, look at that, it stands for Green Popsicle Stick.
And GPS is the key to future you. Find future you and you have the GPS to your future. How about that?
I believe in you. I KNOW you are worth taking the time to use the GPS to your future. To find you. To uncover future you, and claim the life you are meant to have.
You have the directions on how to get there. You always have.
If I handed you a green popsicle stick in person, and you came here to find out why – thanks for listening. I hope you got something out of it. If that isn’t you, and you meet me in person, definitely ask me for a green popsicle stick. I’m happy to give one to you – or I might beat you to the asking and just hand it to you.
And challenge you to find your purpose.
The Questions I have for you in this episode are: 1) What structures are you supporting? 2) Where are you in green popsicle stick journey? Do you have your GPS?
I have a special thank you to Beth and Michele for reviewing this fable and providing great input. You two are the best!
The adjustment to not having your kiddos at home full-time isn’t always easy but it sure can be a ton more fun with a flock of friends!
We look forward to seeing you there!
As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend.
My HOPE is that I am able to provide you with thoughts that impact your life in a positive way.
My next episode’s title is: How to Get Rid of Guilt
Can you do me a favor?
If you could take the time to subscribe to this podcast – that would be fantastic. It is free, and you’ll be notified when a new episode goes live. And if you have an extra moment to give this podcast a 5 star rating – it will help other future empty nest mothers to find it when they need it. Thanks for your time and energy with that and thanks so much for listening my empty nest friend!
Today’s episode is something that has really, truly, I can’t stress this enough, changed my life. It’s been such a huge part of the changes I have made over the last eight months, that I decided to make it my free gift to you.
Take a listen, or read the transcript, below.
⇓⇓⇓ More goodies below, too! Scroll all the way down ⇓ so you don’t miss anything! ⇓⇓⇓
Want to subscribe to this podcast? Great news – it is free!
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 13: Future You Has All the Power; I’m Telling You, She Does. … Hello, my empty nest friend! We are at lucky episode number 13, and it is lucky because I get to spend time with you today. Thanks for making time in your busy schedule to listen. You are the best! Today’s episode is something that has really, truly, I can’t stress this enough, changed my life. It’s been such a huge part of the changes I have made over the last eight months, that I decided to make it my free gift to you.
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 13: Future You Has All the Power; I’m Telling You, She Does. This podcast is for you, a mother who years ago walked away from a career to raise your child. Sure, you’ve been busy volunteering, car pools, maybe part-time work and taking care of everyone. But your main gig, that has been your child. Now, that they are in their later years of high school, the empty nest looms ahead for you and it is freaking you out. I’ve been there and I get it. Together, we’ll turn our freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy.
Hello, my empty nest friend! We are at lucky episode number 13, and it is lucky because I get to spend time with you today. Thanks for making time in your busy schedule to listen. You are the best! Today’s episode is something that has really, truly, I can’t stress this enough, changed my life. It’s been such a huge part of the changes I have made over the last eight months, that I decided to make it my free gift to you.
What I am going to do in this episode is to walk you quickly through my entire free program, “The Empty Nest, a Guide to Uncovering My Future,” so you get an idea of what it is all about. I recommend that you take no less than seven days to get through my free program. This episode alone, may not be everything you need, but it may get you started on your dreaming, and then, when you’re ready to really dive in, take my free class.
I have seven steps to help you find future you. Step one is to dream. When I speak about dreams in this episode, I’m talking about those big, future goals, plans and ideas that totally inspire you. Remember those big dreams you had when you were like five through nine or ten years old? You didn’t care if your plans were realistic at all. You dreamed. You could have been a pirate on the moon fighting space aliens. But that’s what you wanted to do. You imagined, and you played it all out in your head. We are going to tap into that part of you. She’s still there. You’ve just been hiding her, really hiding her, for a long time.
The first thing you need to do is dream. I want you to dream big and I want you to not limit yourself. When you think to yourself things like, I’ve always wanted to be a hair stylist and then, automatically, your mind or your thoughts kick in to tell you why it isn’t a good idea. I want you to tell that part of your mind to just sshhh, for these exercises, and then, ask it for help. Give it a job.
Your mind loves to do two things. One, keep you safe doing what you’re doing. It likes routine and knowing you are safe. It also likes to solve problems. When you notice your mind, or your thoughts pushing back on you, as you start to dream, tell it not to worry, that you are just dreaming and ask for its help. Then, get to work dreaming. Not just any dream, I want you to dream big. I do not want you to have realistic dreams, something that really could happen anyway. I want you to have the “if I could wish for anything into existence tomorrow, what would it be” type of dreams. I’m also, not asking you to make a plan to make these dreams happen right now. I want you to dream about high-level big things that you would like to be able to say at the end of your life, that you have accomplished. Figure out what is really important you. Pick a time frame, five years out, 10 years out, 20 years out, and what are you doing in this dream of yours? That is step one. Ideally, spend a full day, multiple days or even a week or more on this. It might take you a few weeks just to tell your mind to sshhh when you are dreaming. It isn’t used to doing this. Is it? Don’t worry. It is worth the wait.
Step two is to write it down. I want you to schedule time for yourself to write down your dreams. Give yourself a minimum of 15 minutes, maybe 30. Heck, give yourself a half a day if you want. These are your big dreams. Get your favorite writing utensil, and a notebook, your favorite beverage and write down every dream that you came up with. No editing. Anything that pops in your head that seems outlandish, write that down too. This isn’t a contract. It’s simply an exercise. It should be fun and enjoyable. Don’t edit as you’re writing things down.
Congratulations! You are starting to find the real you again. She’s so worth getting to know. Remember, sshhh your mind on the “you can’t do thats” and “how will you do that” statements that pop into your head. We aren’t figuring out the how, we are dreaming about the what. You might think that this is kind of vision board time, but my friend, we are not even close. You have more work to do. Remember, too, that you can add things to this page at any time. Save it. We’ll come back to it in more than one step of this process.
We’re onto step number three, now that you’ve written everything down. You’ve gotten it all out of your head. Step number three is to pick one thing. Don’t overthink it. Look at your page and the first thing that jumps out at you, circle it. That’s all. Just circle it. Don’t change your mind. I want you to play it out through the remaining steps. Don’t change it. Got it? Awesome.
Step number four, this is really fun, to imagine in detail. This is where younger you, who liked to play make-believe, comes into play. I want you to spend a minimum of 24 hours throughout your day, imagining every detail of what your life would be like with what you chose in step three. I’m talking about what time do you wake up? Where do you live? What is your home like? Is it in the same location? What kind of foods do you eat? Who is your inner circle? What does your day look like? Do you work? How often do you work? Do you have a commute? Do you travel? Do you exercise? Get the idea? I want you to seriously imagine living into this choice.
As you go through your day, I want you to think about what would be different about your day if that choice was your reality and how does that make you feel? You may find there are things you love about your choice and you may find there are details that you really aren’t so thrilled about. When you really truly put your mind to work on this and imagine the details, you’ll learn more about yourself.
Once you feel that you have full understanding of what that choice means in your life, imagining every detail, now move onto step five and ask yourself how did I get there? Even if you already have a good feeling that you don’t love this choice, this is worth the extra step to gain clarity. The power in step four and five combined is unbelievable. Deeply imagining your possible future and then asking your mind how you got there, you’ll receive all the clarity you need. From who? Not from me, and not from your inspired family members or co-worker, but from you. You know the answer. It won’t be the same as anyone else’s.
You are listening to a podcast that is the realization of me doing this exact exercise. I said I want to help future empty nest women, but I couldn’t see any way that it would work. I work full-time and there are zero external factors that would say I can make this work. When I lived into this dream for a few days, seeing the details and finally asked my mind how I got there, I quite matter-of-factly received the direction, well of course, you woke up at 4:00 a.m. and worked on it before your day job. What?! That is a bit much. Trust me, anyone I share this with, tells me it’s too much for them too. It may be. That wasn’t their answer to their dream. It was my answer to my dream. I saw clearly how it would work, once I had the answer.
When you ask anyone other than yourself how to proceed, you are traveling down their path, not yours. Which might work, and might not, but who ultimately knows you better? Yup. Your brain loves to figure things out. Let it take this one for you. It doesn’t even need to make sense to you, the answer that you get. You don’t need to like it, but you’ll get some creative answers and this exercise is so much fun.
Now, we are at the most important question of all. Step number six, do I love it? Do I still want it? My answer initially to this was 4:00 a.m., nope, don’t want it. Then, I realized after living in my future, in my imagination, that I have my how, on how to reach my dream and I liked it. If I say no to this, five years from now, I’ll be exactly where I am today, with just some extra sleep. I ultimately want that dream and that goal more than I want some extra sleep.
There are some other things I’ve run this through with and seriously have realized that the details of that future life aren’t anything that I want, but I almost got to experience what it would be like. It’s almost like when you plan a vacation and you live in all of the details, and all of that fun and excitement of the upcoming vacation is something that you feel everyday, even though you’re not in the vacation already. It was fun, and it was worth the work. When I chose not to pursue those, it wasn’t giving up on a dream, it was me getting one step closer to knowing the real future me. Everyday I’m one step closer and I love it. You need to love your choice. This is step six. Do you? If not, no worries. Keep all the work you’ve done. Make notes on your reasons why and then jump back to step three. Pick another one and do the whole thing over again.
This step seven is kind of like a yes or no, go in two different paths. If you’re like me, you’ll find some of these choices that you said no to will pop up again, in your thoughts every once in a while. If you keep your notes, you may quickly address your why reasons that you had back then and see that those are the same and I really don’t want that, or maybe over time, they change. For the other path, if you find you love your choice, you can move to figuring out the how details, one step at a time. That would probably be another podcast episode, or maybe three.
Here’s the thing, once you get to know that version of future you, so tremendously well, it becomes about not letting her down, not letting you down. Everyone else doesn’t really matter. It’s highly motivating. If you’re intrigued by what I shared on this episode, and would like to dive in more, consider taking my free course, “The Empty Nest, a Guide to Uncovering My Future.” I walk through all of these steps in that program with videos and a workbook. You will find a link to this course on my website, youremptynestcoach.comand click The Future Freebie Course in the menu.
The questions I have for you in this episode are:
1) Do you have any idea who future you is?
2) What is the biggest dream you can think of for you, right now, and how does it make you feel?
Fly on over to our Empty Nest Flock at youremptynestcoach.com/community to share your answers with the entire flock. As of this recording, I have both a forum and a Facebook group available to see if one gathers more traction, and already am seeing that Facebook is becoming the clear winner. As of right now, you may pick your favorite to interact with the flock.
Why join our flock? The adjustment to you not having your kiddos at home full-time isn’t always easy, but it sure can be a ton more fun with a flock of friends. I look forward to seeing you there. As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend. My hope is that I am able to provide you with thoughts that impact your life in a positive way. My next episode’s title is What to do Before Going to College: Now That the Decision Has Been Made, What Should We Do Next? I have a guest joining me for the episode. This is a big step in my podcasting. I would love to read your feedback or review here in an upcoming episode.
Either provide a review on Apple Podcast, or tag me on social media. If you have a question you would like me to answer on the podcast, you may submit it in my Empty Nest Flock or email me at podcast AT youremptynestcoach.com. Include your question and how you would like me to refer to you, meaning should I use your name, a pseudonym like future me in Fredericksburg, or anonymous. Thank you so much for listening, my friend.
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 12, The Power and Understanding That Life Isn’t Supposed To Be Perfect. … Today’s episode is definitely inspired by Byron Katie, and this quote of hers, “If you argue with reality, you will lose 100 percent of the time.” I will link to Byron Katie’s site in my show notes, which you will find on my website.
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 12, The Power and Understanding That Life Isn’t Supposed To Be Perfect. This podcast is for you, a mother who years ago walked away from a career to raise your child. Sure, you’ve been busy with volunteering, car pools, maybe part-time work and taking care of everyone. But your main gig, that’s been your child. Now, that they are in their later years of high school, the empty nest looms ahead for you and it’s freaking you out. I’ve been there and I get it. Together, we’ll turn our freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy.
Hello, my empty nest friend! Episode 12. How are you today? I hope you are feeling amazing, because you deserve to feel amazing. This is really fun. I don’t know if you can tell, but definitely from my first podcast episode, the sound quality is slowly getting better. I’m in my official podcast booth, which I think, hopefully, you will enjoy. It is an umbrella, with a sleeping bag over it, on top of my laptop, so I don’t have the sound waves reverberating all over the place. A little cramped in here, but I love it. I’m slowly improving.
Today’s episode is definitely inspired by Byron Katie, and this quote of hers, “If you argue with reality, you will lose 100 percent of the time.” I will link to Byron Katie’s site in my show notes, which you will find on my website. The gist of this whole thing and what really hit me, was what is happening, whatever it is, is totally supposed to happen. Why? Because it is happening. Arguing with the reality of the situation is absolutely pointless. Life is sucky 50 percent of the time. It is. It’s called life, not called the magical perfect world, where everything goes your way. Welcome to life. Congratulations! You are alive.
Why do we believe that life is supposed be perfect? That is a lie that serves none of us. If your automatic thought when something bad happens is well, this shouldn’t happen, and then you continue to spin out of control and not do much but complain about it. I want you to understand that in that specific moment, rather than dealing with a situation, you’re clearly choosing to argue with reality.
You are arguing with reality. What do you think that’s going to get you? Oh, Christine, but I’m just saying that, thinking that, because it’s comforting. Is it? Let’s look at an extreme example. Imagine that you just got into a car accident. There is an emergency situation to deal with. What is the best thought to go to once your brain understands what has happened? Cars crushed, I’m still alive, let me assess the situation and figure out what to do next, or this is awful, this shouldn’t have happened, why do these things always happen to me? I get it, this might seem like an extreme example, but when you see the importance in an extreme situation, and then realize that you are doing this all day, every day, in tiny moments of your life, how do you think that compounds, and what do you think it creates in your life?
Are you constantly arguing with the universe, with reality, that things shouldn’t be happening a certain way? Let’s say your child doesn’t get a scholarship they were hoping for. Do you spend three days complaining about it, calling the school to find out why, and fighting it? Or do you realize the competition must have been really intense, let’s see what other scholarships are available? Here’s another one, your child’s guidance counselor didn’t get a paper over in a timely fashion. Do you complain about it to everyone, or do you figure out how to solve it by making an appointment to confirm the counselor completes the task?
We see this in movies all of the time. Something tragic or unbelievable happens. There are a whole bunch of people freaking out about it, and one, typically, the protagonist, the hero of the story, quickly assesses the situation, figures out what to do and saves the day? What did they do? You could say they were trained for this, or they are a born leader. They were born that way. What is the real answer? It is that they spent no time arguing with the true circumstances of the situation and got right to work.
What if I tell you, you can be the hero in your own life? You can. If you’ve been listening to my podcasts since the beginning, you know there is power in observing your thoughts. This week, I want you to observe your thoughts and look out for how often your thoughts lead you to argue with reality in either complaints, or arguing, or saying that shouldn’t have happened.
Yes, the situation might be unfair, but if it happened, there really is no “shouldn’t have.” It already happened. Unless you can time travel, it’s a done deal. Arguing with a circumstance changes nothing except for how you feel and how you show up in life.
I remember the first time I really grasped this. It had to do with our cat, Lego. He has three legs. We rescued him from a shelter when he was two years old. He’s pretty chill most of the time, but he has issues. He is missing a leg. It’s really cute when he has itch on his left ear, his back-left stump tries to scratch it. It’s kind of sad and cute at the same time. He lost his leg when he was a kitten, so our best guess is he only remembers ever having three legs. The only thing he doesn’t do well is jump, and that’s not really a problem for us. Anyway, I digress. He has this habit of doing the butt scoot after he poops. Don’t worry, we’ve had him checked out by a vet. It seems to be a habit he’s developed at this point in time. Fighting the reality that we have a cat that does this, gets me nothing but frustration. We’re not going to get rid of him over something like this. He does it and now, when he comes out of the litter, I wait for him to do it, clean it up and it’s pretty much routine now. We come home after being out and look for the streak. It’s our reality. It’s so much easier to find it, clean it up, and move on, than to show up any other way. Let me tell you, when this first started happening, I did not show up pretty.
Another example from our life, as a family, is my husband, when he was diagnosed with colon cancer, he was 38 years old. He was the best example of someone who didn’t argue with reality. He simply did what he needed to do. He did the treatments, continued to work, and certain things became his new reality. Many of those new things aren’t pleasant, but he doesn’t spend time arguing with it. He figures out how to work around it and with it. I guess, he’s a bit of a hero around here, really. Let me give you one more that kind of does rear its ugly head in my life from time to time.
Before I had my daughter, I worked in tech. I spent 15 years out of the work force, full-time. While I stayed up-to-date on technologies, a 15-year gap is big on a resumé. My day job now, is an admin coordinator, and it took me months to find an employer willing to give me a chance. I also work in a place where if you’re an admin, you’re pretty much an admin there for years on end, which doesn’t fit my usual profile. While I’m not overly challenged in this role, it has its benefits. I can walk to work. I have a boss who’s flexible with my building of this business, and it is an income that we need as a family. There are days where I see areas that I can help so easily. There are days where I’d like to be challenged so much more. Just throw a huge project at me and let me run with it, and it gets to me.
It got to me last week. I was arguing with my reality big time. The funny part is, other than knowing I can do so much more, do I really want that responsibility anyway? Not really. I have this business I’m building, and I love it. I spent more than a few hours complaining one of the days last week. It’s not the version of me I am most proud of, but I’m human. Then, I took in my reality. I was out of the workforce for 15 years. I have a flexible job now, where I can help others. I get to coach all day long. I really do. It isn’t part of my job description, but I definitely got to work on my coaching there, and that is free training for me. I don’t get to do big tech projects, but I also don’t have to work those stressful hours any more. Why am I even fighting with reality, really? Seriously, it’s so not worth it. Better to come up with a plan to change it, or just be okay with it. Anyway, notice your “that shouldn’t have happened” statements. Observe them with fascination and then process through them. They have the power to stall your life completely. Who wants that? Not me. I choose moving forward and processing through things. Once I catch my “should have’s,” that is the key. Noticing them, and then, changing them.
The questions I have for you in this episode are:
1) Who are you in life? Are you the hero solving things, or the person crying hysterically about their circumstances?
2) How do you feel when you think about the fact that life really isn’t supposed to be perfect?
Fly on over to our Empty Nest Flock Forum at youremptynestcoach.com/community to share your answers with the entire flock. The adjustment to not having your kiddos at home full-time isn’t always easy, but it sure can be a ton more fun with a flock of friends. As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend. My hope is that I am able to provide you with thoughts that impact your life in a positive way.
My next episode’s title is Future You Has All the Power. Don’t forget to sign up for my free Thursday Thoughts About email. Sign up and every Thursday you will receive a thought from me, and I also share Your Empty Nest Coach updates.
It is listener feedback time. This one’s titled Life Coaching Based on Self-success, “It’s always impressive when the life coach has succeeded using the techniques herself, and Christine has big time. I’m eager for the next episode.” This is by reviewer 1946. Thank you, reviewer 1946, who may or may not be my father. That’s the best. Isn’t it?
I would love to read your feedback or review here in an upcoming episode. Either provide a review on Apple Podcast or tag me on social media. If you have a question you would like me to answer on the podcast, you may submit it in my Empty Nest Flock Forum or email me at podcast AT youremptynestcoach.com. Include your question and how you would like me to refer to you, meaning, should I use your name, a pseudonym, like empty heart in Erie, or anonymous.
Thank you so much for listening, my friend, and remember, you are amazing!
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 11, Misery Loves Company, But What Does That Get You? … Misery loves company.
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 11, Misery Loves Company, But What Does That Get You? This podcast is for you, a mother who years ago walked away from a career to raise your child. Sure, you’ve been busy with volunteering, car pools, maybe part-time work and taking care of everyone. But your main gig, that’s been your child. Now, that they are in their later years of high school, the empty nest looms ahead for you and it’s freaking you out. I’ve been there and I get it. Together, we’ll turn our freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy.
Hello, my empty nest friend! Thank you for spending your valuable time with me today. This podcasting thing is a huge learning curve for me. I’m trying to figure out what topics to do, all that kinds of stuff, and I decided that I would create a title for the following episode as I finish the prior one, and then just see where it takes me. Where I landed on this topic was nowhere near where I thought it was going to. This whole process is super fun.
Misery loves company. This isn’t a fact, or anything. It is a proverb that dates back hundreds of years. Shakespeare did not pen the phrase. It appears that John Ray, an English naturalist and botanist from the mid-17th Century is credited with the phrase. Although, it was in use well before that. The meaning is that if you’re miserable you will be comforted by the idea that others are not happy.
I don’t know about you, but my mind instantly jumps to the extreme, someone like the fictional evil stepmother in Cinderella. There’s a lady who really enjoys seeing someone else feel miserable. You can almost feel the enjoyment she gets from seeing Cinderella’s pain and misery. I am sure that you are thinking I would never be that cruel. I give you, I would hope you aren’t but, I want to challenge you with this. Don’t we sometimes, as humans, like to find an example of someone who has it worse off than us to make us feel better about our own circumstance? In our minds we think, I have no right to be upset, they have it so much worse.
I know this may seem like an odd jump but stay with me. Isn’t that pretty much what this phrase is all about? That’s tough, right? Think about it. When you are super upset about something, and then, you hear that someone else you know has a circumstance that makes yours pale in comparison, isn’t that kind of what we’re doing? When we say oh, their situation puts yours into perspective. It seems harmless. I totally get it but when you decide that someone else has it worse, what are you saying to yourself about your circumstances? This is the challenge that arises. What are you actually doing here? Are you working through your own thoughts, feelings, actions? Of course you aren’t. You are simply ignoring them. That isn’t helpful to you.
Your circumstances, your thoughts and your feelings are yours. They’re all yours and you need to work through them. I am not talking about publicly. If your friend just found out that their child has a terminal illness, it isn’t the time to share about your child not getting into their dream school. That would be rude. You aren’t a jerk. I know you aren’t. You are a good friend. You listen. You love on your friend and you support them in any way that you can. But when you go home, when you’re with your thoughts, whatever you are dealing with, if it shows its head as misery, I do not want you to ignore it because you’ve decided that things could be worse, look at what my friend’s going through. I want you to figure out what your circumstance is, and then do the work to process through it. Your friend’s circumstances are not your circumstances. Your circumstances are your work.
Ignoring things never solves things. I challenge you to stop ignoring thoughts in your life that you deem aren’t worth addressing because of excuses, such as in the scheme of things, this is nothing, or everyone else I know has it so much worse, or I’m lucky this is all I have to deal with. This might all be true in your mind but if you don’t 100 percent believe the thought that you’re saying, it isn’t true for you then. You need to figure out the thought that you need to have to get you the feeling and the result that you want.
Dumbo. Remember that movie? Remember the feather? That feather. He had to hold onto the feather to fly. That is what he believed. I’d like you to imagine that you are Dumbo the Flying Elephant. Yes, another fictional character from Christine today. Imagine that the feather you’re holding is the line you are telling yourself. The excuse you have, such as I’m lucky I don’t have that to deal with. Do you know how scared Dumbo would be to lose that feather? I think that might be us. Because, if we hold onto that excuse or that feather, we don’t have to deal with our current circumstances.
When you think about your own circumstances, when your friends are going through tough things, it almost feels self-indulgent, doesn’t it? It might, but I bet that is because you aren’t used to doing it. Doing what? Being an emotional adult. You need to do the work. You need to process through it, so you can be who you need to be in your life, for your friend, for your family, and for yourself. I’m willing to bet that the you who processes through your own circumstances is profoundly stronger than the you who is ignoring things. Actually, I’m sure of it. That version of you is worth getting to know. If your brain is seeing misery somewhere, it is worth working through. You are worth it. You deserve it.
Let’s go back to Cinderella. I have no doubt that Cinderella’s stepmother saw misery everywhere. Just a hunch. What if her stepmother didn’t need to see others in misery to make herself feel better? I guess we wouldn’t have a story then. What do you want? A story about others in your life, or to write your own story? For the record, I am preaching to myself in this episode, for sure. Confused? I might have confused myself in this episode.
Fly on over to my community forum to see if I’ve gained any more clarity on this by the time it goes live. You may jump in by answering this episode’s questions, which are:
1) Do you find yourself often ignoring your own circumstances in this way? 2) Dumbo, did you see they are doing a live-action, well mostly live-action, version of this movie coming up? This was one of those movies I re-watched with my daughter when she was younger and found myself either cringing or crying through almost the whole thing. My question is are you going to go see that new live-action Dumbo? What does that movie even bring up for you? Something different to talk about. Will you go see it?
As always, I provide content to make you think, my empty nest friend, and my hope is that I am able to provide you with thoughts that impact your life in a positive way. My next episode’s title is The Power in Understanding That Life Isn’t Supposed to be Perfect. Don’t forget to sign up for my free Thursday Thoughts About email. Sign up and every Thursday you will receive a thought from me, and I also share Your Empty Nest Coach updates. Do me a favor? If you like this podcast, or you find it’s just making you think and you are listening to it on your phone, do a quick screenshot and post it on your favorite social media site to let others know about this podcast. On Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, I’m @Empty Nest Coach, if you want to tag me, and I will say, “Hi.” If you have a question you would like me to answer on the podcast, you may submit it in my Empty Nest Flock Community forum or email me at email@example.com. This is where I’ll have listener feedback, and I’m in such an early stage, I really don’t have too much going on, so I’m going to save the other one that I have currently, for my next episode. Please, if you are listening to this on Apple podcast, please take a moment to review and I will read it here. Thank you so much! Thank you so much for listening, and remember, you are amazing!
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 10, What Your College Enrollment Management Office Wants You to Know About Admission and Financial Aid. … I thought I would take advantage, for you, of the fact that I have access to some amazing admission and financial aid staff members.
Christine: You are listening to the Your Empty Nest Coach podcast with Coach Christine, episode number 10, What Your College Enrollment Management Office Wants You to Know About Admission and Financial Aid. This podcast is for you, a mother who years ago walked away from a career to raise your child. Sure, you’ve been busy with volunteering, car pools, maybe part-time work and taking care of everyone. But your main gig, that’s been your child. Now, that they are in their later years of high school, the empty nest looms ahead for you and it’s freaking you out. I’ve been there and I get it. Together, we’ll turn our freaking out energy into freaking awesome energy.
Hello, my empty nest friend! Episode 10 is here. I’m in double digits and I am super excited. This episode is a bit of a crossover episode for me. This is because I spend my 9:00 to 5:00-ish hours working in the Enrollment Management Division at Ursinus College. Ursinus is a College that Changes Livescollege. If you’ve never heard of that, check out the link in my show notes. Ursinus is a private liberal arts college, located in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. The campus is beautiful. The faculty is engaged with students and we have a brand new, gorgeous Science Center. Ursinus College is definitely worth checking out, if you’ve never heard of us. There’s just way to much to list in this podcast.
I thought I would take advantage, for you, of the fact that I have access to some amazing admission and financial aid staff members. They kindly have shared with me their most important things to know about the enrollment process. All guests on this episode were asked to respond to the question: what is one thing you would like parents and/or students to understand about the enrollment process? I hope you enjoy this and learn some things.
My name is Ashling Suppan, and I’m the Assistant Director of Student Financial Services. My advice to families going through the enrollment process, is that it should be a collaborative effort. Parents shouldn’t do everything for students, but they also shouldn’t throw them in the deep end without any help. Work together towards your common goal, which is the student’s future.
Hi guys, this is Doug Ulrich, one of the Assistant Directors of Admission at Ursinus College, and I think my best advice for parents, specifically first-generation students and parents, is to don’t be afraid to ask questions and educate yourself. There are a lot of resources that are out there, whether it’s through your local high school, or your community college, or just any college that you’re looking at, to go speak to somebody about financial aid or understand the FAFSA, or whatever you’re having any questions about. Don’t be afraid to reach to your Admissions Counselor. That’s what we’re there for. Email us, call us, text us if it’s allowed, but don’t be afraid to ask any questions. It’s never too early to get started within the college application process or the enrollment process and let us try to ease your mind as much as we can. That way we can make the transition from high school to college as seamless as possible.
Alyssa Worrilow, Associate Director of Admission. The one thing that I would like parents and/or students to understand about the enrollment process is if you plan ahead of time you can have a lot of fun with it and you should make it fun, because this is a really important time in your lives, and it is a fun process because you’re exploring where you’re going to be spending, hopefully, the next four years of your life. You’re going to be planning trips and doing research, and if you’re not so stressed out about it, and you plan efficiently, then it can be a lot of fun, and you can make projects together. Just have fun with it. Don’t stress out, and of course, like I said, if you do enough planning in the beginning, it will be fun.
Hi, everyone. This Shawn Kennedy, Assistant Director of Admission, here at Ursinus. When asked what is one thing that is not stressed enough is your admissions counselor really can be a great resource for you. The college, we’re already here for you. We already want to help, regardless of the institution that you end up ultimately choosing, your admission counselor really cares about you and wants you to be successful, wherever you are, wherever you’re going to reach that full potential. I definitely wish I knew that kind of going through the process as I didn’t have a lot of people to rely on. I wish I knew I could rely on the Admission staff more often throughout the entire process.
Hi, my name is Destinee Harper, and I am an Assistant Director of Admissions at Ursinus College. If there was one thing I could advise parents during the enrollment process, for their child, when they’re looking for college. I would say utilize the guidance counselor’s office or the college advising office, whatever the student has at their school. Really have the student go to those visits when the colleges come and to talk about different programs at whatever school, so they can learn more about the school. I say also, to utilize the admissions team at a college. Ask as many questions you can. Talk to Financial Aid about FAFSA, scholarship information, loans, educating parents about loans, and that understanding that it could be a necessary evil for your child to go to school, but you necessarily won’t be in debt for life. There’re other options about taking smaller loans versus a big one. Lastly, I say visit the school. Do interviews at the school. If the school has that available for them, so the student can show the admissions team, who are going to be reviewing the application how great they are, and how well rounded they are, because sometimes the application doesn’t reflect that. Also, visiting the campus so you can see people like to go there, and for their parents can be comfortable leaving their child there for four years. That’s the advice I would give.
My name is Jesse Randall, and I’m the Associate Director of Student Financial Services. One thing I wish that parents would know going into the whole admission process and the financial aid process, specifically, is that we are on the same side as you. The reason I’m in this job is because I want to be an advocate for students and despite sometimes having to deliver bad news, it’s not something that I enjoy doing. It’s typically regarding regulations that I have to deliver bad news. At the end of the day, all I’m trying to do is help the student out as best as I can.
There we have it. Aren’t they great? Should you have any specific questions that were not answered here, or mentioned, that you would like answered in an upcoming episode, please feel free to email me. I will mention the email address in just a moment. If you would like another episode like this, definitely let me know that too. I would also love to do an episode of what is one thing that parents want college admission officers to know, and I’d love to do one from the student’s point of view as well. If you would like to participate in that, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put guest in the subject line. I would also like to take a moment to state that this episode is not sponsored by Ursinus College. Actually, I’ve made it a commitment in my first year of podcasting, and potentially for all of my years of podcasting, to not have any outside sponsors. I hope you like that, and if you do, thank The Minimalists. If you want to keep it that way, be sure to share my podcasts on social media, or with someone you think would benefit from it. You are the best. Thanks!
The questions I have for you in this episode are: 1) If you could tell your child’s college enrollment team one thing, what would you want them to know? If you answer that, and you’d like to be included on the podcast, just write podcast okay, in there.
2) What is the most important thing for you, in your child’s college search? Meaning, what’s the one thing? Is it they need to be an hour away from you or less? Or, is it cost? Or is it a major for them? I’m really curious. What’s the most important thing for you in your child’s college search. Great. I invite you to fly over to my Empty Nest Flock Community at youremptynestcoach.com/community to share your answers to this episode’s questions and a reminder to sign up for my free Thursday Thoughts email. There I will send you weekly thoughts on what is on my mind, as well as updates on my coaching programs and podcasts. As always, if you have a question you would like me to answer on my podcast, you may submit it to me in the Empty Nest Flock Community Forum or email me at podcast AT youremptynestcoach.com. Include your question and how you would like me to refer to you or, if at all. My next episode’s title is Misery Loves Company, But What Does That Get You?
It is listener feedback time. I would like to share listener feedback in my episodes going forward and I’ll start with my very first Apple podcast review. This one is titled It’s Mine, I Like It, and it says, giving my own review to see how it works. Thank for checking this out. Yes, the writer of that review is Your Empty Nest Coach, me, but I would love to read your review in the future, so don’t be shy. Thank you so much for listening, and remember, you are amazing!